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Russians top spenders on jeans

Hong Kong, March 3, 2008

The cheapest jeans buyers are Americans and the most lavish Russians, according to a global study.

The survey by Synovate, a leading global research firm, shows Levis' global dominance in denim.

It said 16 per cent of women would rather shop for a swimsuit than try to find the perfect pair of jeans.

Synovate surveyed around 7,700 people in the United States, Canada, Brazil, France, Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, Serbia, Russia and South Africa on all-things denim: fit, quantity, brand preferences and the amount people are willing to spend to achieve jeans nirvana. 

Brands making the cut

Price aside, Synovate asked respondents which brand they would most like to own.  With no restrictions on answers - brands could be global or local - a third of all people chose a global and / or designer brand.

The clear global favourite is Levi's with more than one in five respondents nominating the classic brand as their most preferred choice. This was as high as 45 per cent in France.  Around a third of all people in Malaysia, the United States, Serbia and South Africa also chose Levi's.

Synovate's managing director of France, Thierry Pailleux, said in France, Levi’s is not just any brand.

'Levi’s is the jeans brand in France. It is seen as the authentic US brand. The brand has an almost mythical status.  In fact, one would say 'I am going to buy Levi's', not 'I am going to buy a pair of jeans'.'

Streetwear and the celebrity effect

The Synovate jeans survey also looked at whether people noticed jeans brands on the street or those worn by celebrities. A total of 26 per cent agreed they keep an eye out for brands on the street, with South African respondents particularly focused on street fashions (62 per cent agreed).  Malaysians are also brand-aware with 44 per cent agreeing they pay attention to street-wear. 

The least likely to notice what others are wearing are the French (89 per cent), Canadians (82 per cent) and Americans (80 per cent).

This pattern was maintained when people agreed or disagreed with the statement “I notice the brands of jeans that celebrities wear in magazines”.  An overall 26 per cent agreed, with the highest results in South Africa (60 per cent) and Malaysia (42 per cent).

Again, the people who disagreed were intriguing, with the French topping the list at 94 per cent, US at 84 per cent and Canada at 88 per cent.

Global head of Decision Systems for Synovate and a specialist in retail research, Hans Raemdonck said:  'Perhaps with US magazines full of celebrity endorsements and 'style watches', people have become somewhat desensitised to the brands on famous bottoms.'

I'll take them in blue, black and bootleg

When it comes to jeans, it seems one pair is not enough for most respondents.  Across the 10 markets surveyed, 31 per cent of people own three or four pairs of jeans and another 29 per cent own from five to 10 pairs.  Drawers are fullest in Brazil, with 14 per cent of respondents in that market saying they own more than 10 pairs of jeans and 40 per cent with five to 10 pairs.

Ignacio Galceran, CEO of Synovate in Latin America, says this is not too surprising. 'Brazilians have a relaxed, but sexy, sense of style and denim is a good fit with the lifestyle.  Owning many pairs gives clothing options for most occasions.'

At the other end of the scale, 29 per cent of Malaysians do not own any jeans at all with the next closest jean-free groups at 13 per cent in Taiwan and Russia. 

Synovate's managing director for Malaysia, Steve Murphy, attributes this to the local culture.

'We have many distinct cultural groups in Malaysia which means a greater diversity in overall wardrobe choices.  Many Malays and Indians, especially women, choose traditional attire.  More and more young people are ch


Tags: Jeans | Russians |

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